Orangetheory Fitness Lands at University District in 2021

December 10, 2020 by University District

Let’s Meet & Welcome Owner Matt Kellett to the Mix!


Q & A with Matt Kellett, Owner, Orangetheory Fitness, University District


Centered around high-intensity interval training, Orangetheory® Fitness (OTF) is a boutique fitness studio chain. Its University District location will now open in 2021. We spoke with Matt Kellett, the man behind bringing the global brand to NW Calgary. Let’s learn about the franchise Find out about his interesting background.  Learn the challenges he has faced. And get up to speed on the latest on the University District location, including a reduced-price membership pre-sale!


Hi Matt, thank you for speaking with us. Can you please introduce yourself?


Hi, I’m Matt Kellett, owner of the upcoming Orangetheory Fitness studio in University District as well as the owner of studios in Royal Oak and Kensington.


I’m a former CFL professional football player. I’ve been working in the fitness industry for 17 years now. I brought the first Orangetheory Fitness studio to Calgary seven years ago when we opened Royal Oak. I am married to Khrista, a Geological Engineer. We have three sons, Maguire (15), Grady (13) and Max (11), and a labradoodle named Jersey.




Tell us more about your professional background before Orangetheory Fitness


I studied kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan before being drafted into the Canadian Football League. Across eight seasons, I played for the British Columbia Lions, the Edmonton Eskimos, the Montreal Alouettes, and the Ottawa Renegades.


The move into personal training was an early transition. I started at a ‘big box’ gym called World Health before moving into executive fitness as a Wellness Director at Bankers Hall Club.


Why did you choose University District as the location for your third Orangetheory Fitness studio?


University District is a perfect location! It bridges the gap between our other two studios in downtown Kensington and suburban Royal Oak. I knew University District was going to be a well-populated new community near big employers like the Alberta Children’s Hospital. That got my attention as healthcare workers and others would be moving into the area. Once I saw mock-ups of the new community, I was sold. I liked that it is highly walkable with a lot of amenities on offer. It looked like a vibrant community. And I wanted Orangetheory Fitness to be part of it.


How would you describe Orangetheory Fitness?


Orangetheory Fitness is a science-backed and technology-tracked workout. It is personalized to each individual. It can work for anybody, from Olympic athletes to grandparents maintaining their everyday fitness.


Normally, before class, everyone is attached to a heart rate monitor which syncs with a large screen in the studio to display everyone’s heart rate, caloric burn and what percentage of their maximum heart rate they are currently working at. Workouts usually consist of 30 minutes of cardio on our treadmills and flex deck machines. This is followed by 30 minutes on the workout floor. Our coaches track everyone’s performance throughout the session. Heart rate monitor screens and colour coding track progress.


There is also the ‘open gym’ option. Again, under normal circumstances, people are welcome to use the equipment at their own leisure. Because of our comparatively small membership base, the biggest thing our members talk about is how they love the sense of community at OTF.



Speaking of equipment, what is on offer at Orangetheory Fitness?


As well as the specially designed Freemotion treadmills and flex deck machines, we use our WaterRower. This machine lowers one’s body power and uses 84% of a person’s body muscle. TRX suspension bands, benches, dumbbells and an Ab Dolly for core strengthening are also used. Our heartbeat monitoring system is called OT Beat.


Normally, in a class of 24, while 12 people are on treadmills another 12 are on the workout floor. Our coaches oversee both groups and give intensity direction over a mic using terms like Base Pace, Push Pace and All Out, which all our members quickly come to know.


How are you responding to COVID-19 limitations?


Importantly, we are following all of the guidelines with great care. We are about to launch OT Live where live workouts are led by our certified coaches from our studios. It is completely live with OT Beat heart monitoring pairing, meaning members can receive personalized help right at the moment from coaches.


We have also just redeveloped our App, which allows members to make bookings and to set benchmarks. Workouts are tracked and recorded in the app meaning members can view their data, track their progress, and strive to beat benchmarks in the studio or at home.


On social media, there’s Trainer Tip Tuesday, where coaches teach you how to perform work out moves safely and effectively through videos. There’s also a webcast series, ‘Under the Orange Lights’ on YouTube that connects the global OTF community with industry experts in fitness and health to get real-time tips to help keep your mind in the game at this time.


Lights, Youtube, Action! Check out Under the Orange Lights on YouTube! Let’s go! There are some amazing online workouts offered by Orangetheory Fitness on YouTube until they open at University District and are permitted to host classes.


What is the progress update on the University District studio?


We are expecting to be open in the first part of 2021. Before then, a discounted membership pre-sale will be launched online for a limited time. I would encourage anyone considering joining OTF to grab their membership then as there will never again be another opportunity to benefit from such a low rate.


How do you feel about joining the University District Community?


In a word: excited! It’s such a vibrant community with everything you need, great for younger families but also for seniors. I wish my parents lived there, with so many amenities outside their door!



Once we are up and running, I know University District is a community in which Orangetheory Fitness will thrive and it is especially exciting to be part of some of the first retailers joining the retail main street.


More Wellness Inspiration! Meet U/D new residents Bailin and Connor who share more about their U/D calling and how it fits their student life, healthy life, and Calgary life. Meet them here!

We thank Matt of Orangetheory Fitness for sharing details about this new fitness facility coming soon to University District. Do you have any ideas for virtual or other workouts to share? Post your thoughts on University District on Facebook, @udistrictyyc_ on Instagram or Twitter. And let’s stay healthy this season!

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3 Responses to “Orangetheory Fitness Lands at University District in 2021”

  1. Debby Fisher says:

    I cannot wait for OT University District to open !!! I live in Varsity and am close enough to walk !! Being a member already I am hooked on the workouts and the upbeat atmosphere .I also like the variety between cardio, ,using the rowing machines, ,and floor for developing my overall fitness.Do not think your cannot join because of age .I am 66 and still going strong at my own level .The challenge is to get better than you yourself were the day before .Thanks Matt for getting the studio up and running in early 2021👍😊🥰

  2. Shirley Annabelle Walker says:

    Are you really going to offer high intensity fitness training to seniors or will there be exercise programs geared for seniors offered? When I was looking at condos in the Maple building I was told there would be fitness programs for seniors in University District.

    • This is the great thing about Orange Theory Fitness, is that it’s made for ANYONE. Their scientifically designed workouts are designed by exercise physiologists and assisted by our very own medical advisory board. They have had professional athletes, training right alongside seniors, and others. At their Royal Oak location, Michelle Mackay is a senior and also has Cerebral Palsy. They are able to tailor her workout and provide lots of options for her workouts. So, they do not provide specific classes for seniors, all of their classes are made for EVERYONE!

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